What Are The Best Buns for Pulled Pork Sandwiches?

Pulled pork has grown into a worldwide culinary sensation, originally rooted in Southern barbecue traditions. Now, the scrumptious pulled pork sandwich is enjoyed by countless people across the globe, gaining a reputation as a sought-after summer meal. The versatile and delectable taste of this dish, served on various types of buns and rolls, is tantalizing taste buds and has the potential to rival famous fast-food icons like hamburgers and Sloppy Joes.

As you explore different ways to enjoy this savory sandwich, you will encounter diverse and tempting options ranging from traditional breads to modern fusions. The type of bun or roll you choose can have a significant impact on the overall gourmet experience, and finding the perfect match for the tender slow-cooked pork can elevate your pulled pork delight to new culinary heights.

Key Takeaways

  • Pulled pork sandwiches have become a global culinary favorite with versatile serving options
  • Different types of buns and rolls significantly impact the overall flavor and experience
  • Experimenting with various breads can enhance and elevate your pulled pork indulgence

What Is Pulled Pork?

Pulled pork is a delicious and tender meat that originates from Southern barbecue culture. It is typically made from the shoulder joint of a pig, also known as pork butt or pork shoulder. This cut of meat is slow-cooked for an extended period, resulting in a tender and juicy protein that can easily be shredded by hand.

Throughout the cooking process, the meat absorbs the flavors from the seasonings and sauces used, enhancing its taste. There are numerous variations of pulled pork based on the choice of seasonings, sauces, and cooking methods, making it a versatile dish that can cater to various taste preferences.

In the context of a pulled pork sandwich, the choice of bun or bread is of utmost importance. As the foundation of the sandwich, the selected bun can enhance the overall experience and flavors of the tender pulled pork or, conversely, diminish its appeal.

To summarize:

  • Pulled pork is a slow-cooked meat from the pork shoulder or pork butt
  • It is tender, juicy, and rich in protein
  • The choice of seasonings, sauces, and cooking methods can create a wide array of flavor profiles
  • The bun or bread used in a pulled pork sandwich plays a crucial role in elevating or hindering the taste of the final dish

When enjoying a pulled pork sandwich, take a moment to appreciate the harmony between the tender and juicy meat, the flavorful seasonings and sauces, and the carefully chosen bun that enhances the overall satisfaction of each bite.

Variety Isn’t Just the Spice of Life

When it comes to enjoying a delicious pulled pork sandwich, there’s more to consider than just the fillings. The bun plays a significant role in not only holding everything together but also complementing the flavors inside. You should think about the combination of textures, sweetness levels, and how well they work together. Keeping in mind factors like these can truly elevate your culinary experience.

For instance, imagine your sandwich has a healthy dose of coleslaw. Its liquid content, along with the sauce used for the pork, can potentially destroy a weak bun. The result? A soggy, unappetizing mess in your hands. Choosing a bun that can withstand the moisture is crucial, like a crunchy, open-faced flatbread, which adds texture and helps maintain the integrity of your sandwich.

Now, consider the flavors in your sandwich. If your pulled pork is loaded with chilis and spices, packing a punch of heat, a soft bun with a hint of sweetness can help balance the intensity of the flavors. Brown sugar-infused buns, for example, can provide that subtle sweet flavor and create a perfect harmony in every bite.

In summary, don’t underestimate the power of variety when selecting a bun for your pulled pork sandwich. Keep in mind the bold flavors and textures at work and choose a bun that complements and enhances the entire experience. Remember, your carefully chosen bun has a lot to offer, from supporting the weight of the fillings to adding that extra spark of deliciousness – it’s up to you to let it shine.

Let’s Talk Sandwiches

When it comes to pulled pork sandwiches, the choice of bun can greatly influence your overall sandwich experience. Different styles of sandwich call for distinct types of buns. Are you a fan of the traditional closed sandwich? Or do you like an open-face sandwich?

For those who prefer an open-top sandwich, we get it – less bread means more pork, and more pulled pork often means more taste. However, today we’ll be focusing on buns and toppings for a classic pulled pork sandwich experience.

Here are some popular combinations:

  • Pulled pork + coleslaw: The combination of juicy pork and crunchy coleslaw creates a perfect balance of flavors and textures. Try it on a soft brioche bun to give your sandwich a delicious and tender foundation.
  • Pulled pork + pickles: Tangy pickles cut through the richness of the pork, adding a refreshing contrast to each bite. A crusty ciabatta bun works well with this combo, providing the perfect vessel to hold everything together.
  • Pork sliders: For smaller bites, try pulled pork on slider buns, mini dinner rolls, or even Hawaiian rolls. Top with your favorite toppings like coleslaw or pickles, and enjoy an appetizer-sized version of a pulled pork sandwich.

Of course, these are just a few examples, and there are countless ways to personalize your pulled pork sandwich:

  • Toppings: In addition to coleslaw and pickles, you can experiment with toppings like caramelized onions, jalapeno slices, or even grilled pineapple for a sweet-and-spicy twist.
  • Sauce: Classic barbecue sauce is always a good option, but consider trying different regional styles (like vinegar-based or mustard-based sauces) or even something spicier, like a sriracha or a chipotle sauce.

At the end of the day, it’s all about individual taste – so feel free to mix and match buns, toppings, and sauces to create your perfect pulled pork sandwich experience. Enjoy!

All The Way From France – The Brioche Bun

Brioche buns, with origins dating back to fifteenth-century France, are a fast-growing favorite for both hamburgers and pulled pork sandwiches. Their rich, light texture and versatility make them a top choice for food lovers.

The high butter content in brioche buns sets them apart, making them incredibly soft and sweeter than most other bread. This sweetness is perfect for complementing spicier and hotter pulled pork varieties, while their soft texture ensures they can absorb plenty of sauce without disintegrating or falling apart in your hands.

These factors contribute to brioche buns being a popular choice among pulled pork enthusiasts. Whether you’re serving up any type of pulled pork, the brioche bun is a dependable option that enhances the overall eating experience.

When you want the flavor of the pulled pork to truly shine, a brioche bun is the way to go. It’s an excellent choice when slaw, bourbon, or beer are part of your sauce mix. This delicate, golden bun also works well with all the sauce traditional barbecue adds to the mix.

In summary, the versatile and flavorful brioche bun is a delicious accompaniment that blends together the flavors of your favorite pulled pork dishes effortlessly.

Staying In Europe – The Kaiser Roll

Loving the Austrian bread, the Kaiser Roll, is easy once you’ve had a taste. It was initially made for rulers and gentry, but soon everyone started enjoying its unique flavors. Similar to Brioche, Kaiser rolls can be molded and shaped to the size you desire.

These buns have a hard, crispy exterior, with a soft and fragrant inside. Cutting into a fresh Kaiser roll releases an irresistible aroma, thanks to its soft interior. They’re perfect for soaking up sauces, making them an ideal companion for pulled pork recipes. With its subtle taste, all you’ll experience when biting into a sandwich is the scrumptious pulled pork sauce.

The slightly harder exterior of the Kaiser roll ensures you can handle it with ease, regardless of the filling. This solidity is why it’s a favorite when it comes to sloppy barbecue pulled pork sauces. In addition, the bun’s ability to contain sauces encourages creativity with toppings.

For example, adding onion rings and deep-fried cheese to your Kaiser sandwiches introduces an extra layer of deliciousness. Trust us, the combination of fried dairy atop saucy pulled pork in a Kaiser roll is nothing short of heavenly.

When preparing a meal with Kaiser rolls, you’ll find that their versatility, ability to soak up flavors, and easy handling make them stand out in the world of bread. So, next time you’re craving a sandwich, don’t forget to give the classic Kaiser roll a chance, especially with tasty fillings like pulled pork and exciting toppings.

The Italian way – Ciabatta

Ciabatta, a delicious Italian bread, offers an excellent option for those open-faced sandwich lovers looking to combine the magic of pulled pork with a European twist. Biting into a piece of ciabatta introduces your taste buds to what can be best described as a delicate, chewy interior that pairs brilliantly with flavorful pulled pork.

The characteristics of ciabatta almost seem tailored for open-faced sandwiches. Its soft, doughy insides eagerly soak up all the delicious pulled pork sauce without becoming soggy. Meanwhile, the crusty exterior ensures you can pick it up and eat it with minimal effort, or you can use a knife and fork to tackle each mouth-watering bite head-on.

To make the most of ciabatta’s taste and delectable texture, consider pairing it with pulled pork that packs a real punch in terms of flavor. Bold spices and heat can truly shine when combined with ciabatta, making your open-faced sandwich an unforgettable and utterly delicious experience.

The Hipster Way – Adding A Little Sourdough Flavor

You might have noticed the rise of hipster culture alongside the popularity of pulled pork sandwiches. One of the hipster’s greatest contributions to sandwich-making is their love for sourdough bread. Just the right balance between Kaiser bread and Ciabatta, sourdough is fantastic for both open-face and closed sandwiches.

Sourdough rolls boast a dense, flavor-packed texture, almost like the bread world’s beer. Thanks to the fermentation process, they have a distinct, strong taste. Their soft interior easily absorbs all the pulled pork sauce you can handle, while the crust remains sturdy enough for easy handling. This makes sourdough an ideal choice for pulled pork sandwiches.

But, be mindful of the following:

  • Flavor: Sourdough’s stronger flavor may overpower some milder pulled pork flavors.
  • Sourdough Bread: If you want to savor every nuance of your pulled pork, use sourdough only when your pork has a powerful, taste bud-tingling flavor.

With these tips in mind, give your sandwich a hipster twist by using sourdough to complement your mouthwatering pulled pork. Enjoy the burst of flavor and texture the fusion of these ingredients brings to your meal.

A Little Bit of Indian Flavor – The Naan

You might be familiar with naan bread as an accompaniment to curry, but did you know its chewy texture and almost neutral flavor make it perfect for pairing with pulled pork too? That’s right, naan bread is more versatile than you thought!

To indulge in this tasty combination, simply cut the naan open and stuff it full of your favorite pulled pork. The naan’s unique baking process keeps the sauce from flowing out, making it easy to hold and enjoy without any mess.

The addition of garlic and chili to the naan bread enhances the flavors, complementing the tender and juicy nature of the pulled pork.

Not only is this unconventional pairing a delight to your taste buds, but it’s also a well-kept secret in the pulled pork world. So, go ahead and explore this delicious fusion of Indian naan bread and pulled pork. You’ll enjoy an exciting and easy-to-eat meal, perfect for sharing with friends and family. Don’t wait too long, though, because it’s only a matter of time before everyone else discovers this irresistible combination and it becomes a go-to pulled pork dish for all!

To Toast or Not to Toast, That Is the Question

When it comes to pulled pork sandwiches, toasting the bun creates an interesting dilemma. Some argue that it enhances the sandwich experience, while others believe it’s unnecessary. While you’re free to choose, consider the options: barbecue sauce or vinegar. These delicious condiments can soak into an untoasted bun, creating a delightful blend of flavors. However, if you crave a lightly crispy exterior, toasting is your answer. Ultimately, the choice is yours, ensuring that your pulled pork sandwich is tailored to your preferences.

The Final Bun Verdict

In the end, it’s all about texture and moisture to determine the best bun for your pulled pork sandwich. Kaiser buns are a top choice for their balance of softness and sturdiness. Whichever bun you choose, enjoy every delicious bite with a friendly and satisfying crunch.

What Are The Best Buns for Pulled Pork Sandwiches?


  • Brioche Bun: All the way from France
  • Kaiser Roll: Staying in Europe
  • Ciabatta: The Italian way
  • Sourdough: The hipster way
  • Naan: A little bit of Indian flavor


Choose your desired bun to pair with your pulled pork. Use it in or with your favorite recipe and enjoy a delicious pulled pork sandwich experience!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top types of bread for a pulled pork sandwich?

  • Brioche buns
  • Potato buns
  • Pretzel buns
  • Hawaiian rolls
  • Ciabatta

How do I choose the right bun for my BBQ pork?

Consider the following factors when choosing a bun:

  1. Texture: Select a bun with a soft and slightly chewy texture that can hold up well to the juices from the pork.
  2. Flavor: Pick a bun with a mild flavor that complements the taste of the BBQ pulled pork, rather than overpowering it.
  3. Size: Choose a bun that is big enough to comfortably hold the pulled pork and any additional toppings.
  4. Freshness: Opt for freshly baked buns for the best taste and texture.

How does toasting the bun enhance the sandwich?

Toasting the bun provides several benefits:

  • Adds a delightful crunch and textural contrast to the sandwich
  • Enhances the flavor of the bread
  • Makes the bun more sturdy, helping it hold up to the juicy pork without getting soggy

What are some popular bun options for a juicy pork sandwich?

Here are a few popular choices:

  • Brioche buns: Rich, buttery, and slightly sweet, they beautifully complement the pulled pork’s flavor.
  • Potato buns: Soft and moist, they provide a good balance without overpowering the taste of the pork.
  • Hawaiian rolls: Slightly sweet and fluffy, they offer a hint of tanginess that pairs well with BBQ sauce.

How do brioche buns complement the flavor of pulled pork?

Brioche buns are rich, buttery, and slightly sweet due to their high egg and butter content. Their mildly sweet flavor enhances the savory taste of pulled pork, and the soft, pillowy texture absorbs the juices from the meat without getting soggy.

What makes potato buns suitable for BBQ meat sandwiches?

Potato buns derive their moist and tender texture from the potato starch used in the dough. The subtle flavor of potato buns complements the bold taste of BBQ meats, while their sturdy structure provides excellent support for juicy sandwiches without falling apart.

What Are The Best Buns for Pulled Pork Sandwiches?

These options are sure to be a hit. So, gather your family and friends and enjoy. Let us know your thoughts!
5 from 2 votes


  • All The Way From France - The Brioche Bun
  • Staying In Europe - The Kaiser Roll
  • The Italian way - Ciabatta
  • The Hipster Way - Adding A Little Sourdough Flavor
  • A Little Bit Of Indian Flavor - The Naan


Select your option.
Use in or with your favorite recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Follow Us
Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
Follow Us
Latest posts by Cassie Marshall (see all)